Creating a Connection With Your Audience

Image: MattHurst (Flickr)

Think about the worst presentation that you’ve had to sit through.

What was it that made it so bad?

You might be tempted to think that it due to the presenter’s dull, monotonous voice or the fact that the subject wasn’t interesting but we all have all seen presenters who can make the most tedious, tortuous topics into an exciting educational experience and how do they do this?

They connect with their audience.

They interact, they ask questions, they change the standard presentation format from a dull one-way information flow into a two way conversation and most importantly, they know how to work with slides.

The big problem with slides is that they have the ability to break the connection between you and the audience.  When people look at your slides, they’re not looking at you, they’re not connecting with you and worst of all, they’re probably not listening to you.  

Slides are a distraction. Good presentation and slide design involves minimising the amount of time the audience spends looking at your slides. Ideally we want them to see the slide and then focus their attention back on us.  

This is more difficult that it sounds when using standard presentation slides but there are ways that you can improve your connection with the audience before you even start redesigning your slides: